If the holidays have come and gone, leaving a sea of decorations, new toys, and seasonal items to somehow fit into your tiny hall closet, consider giving your home a refresh for the new year! Read on for 6 tips that will help you purge, declutter, and organize your home for a clean start in 2021.
Consider Clothes and Toy Rotations
One easy way to declutter is to minimize the number of items out at any given time. Use under-bed bins to keep off-season clothes tucked away, so your closet and drawers have more space. Similarly, consider a toy rotation for the kids. Have one container that holds a portion of toys while leaving out only what fits in the play spaces. Every few months, swap the groups of toys; not only will your kids find renewed interest in old items, but it’ll be easier for them to help clean and put things away when there are fewer toys out.
Store Items Where You Use Them
With new gifts and decorations collected over the holidays, items often end up stored in whatever nook and cranny we can find come January. This year, try to organize and store your items close to where you use them. For example, if your holiday candles always go on the hutch, store them inside! If you’ve amassed a big art supply collection, add a storage cart near the table where your kids do crafts, rather than in a desk drawer. By organizing items next to where you and your family use them, you’ll make cleanup easier as well.
Let Available Space Limit Your Items
Often, we organize by finding places to display or store all of the things we own. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with too much stuff, consider taking the opposite approach – let your space dictate your items. For example, invest in a certain number of holiday storage tubs (however many fit in one corner of the attic/closet/etc.) and only keep what they can hold. Limiting your storage space will force you to choose the most treasured items to keep, and you’ll ultimately value what you hold onto more. Other spots to let your space dictate your items are: bedrooms, kitchens, and linen closets. This approach can help give you “permission” to let go of items you no longer truly love - you don’t have to feel guilty that you didn’t squeeze that throw into a closet corner!
Purge Unused Items
We all have things we hold onto just in case we want them in the future, but often that day never comes. The perfect time to purge unused décor and seasonal items is after the holidays. If you didn’t display that snowflake statue this year, perhaps your tastes have changed, and it’s time to part ways. Use a similar system for clothes and toys. Start the year by turning your hangers backward on the closet rod; when you wear something, put the hanger back the right way for the rest of the season. At the end of the year, purge any clothes that are still on backward hangers. For toys, use a “maybe” bin to store less popular items out of sight for a while – if the kids don’t notice the toy is gone for a couple of months, go ahead and donate.
Join Your Local Buy Nothing Groups
One of the hardest parts of decluttering is feeling guilty throwing something away. By joining a local Buy Nothing Group, you’ll be able to give away your unused items to someone in your community looking for just that thing! The spirit of giving is addictive, so after a few fulfilled requests, you’ll find yourself searching the house for more and more to share. Of course, safety is a priority, so make sure you have a way to distribute items safely; many neighborhoods now have designated parking areas (with lights and cameras, etc.) for meeting to exchange items.
Purchase Organizational Items (but less is more)
Sometimes, in our efforts to declutter and organize, we buy the trendy storage supplies and then – nothing. If the tools you purchase don’t fit your space and needs, it doesn’t matter how functional they may seem. Take the time to consider what solution you need, then measure (twice!) and look for the exact right product. One of the most important considerations is how you interact with the items you’re storing. For example, if you regularly use all of your art supplies, digging through a big bin daily to find the perfect colored pencil won’t be practical, so look for something with lots of smaller drawers.
Taking the time to declutter and organize after the holidays will leave your home feeling fresh for a new start in 2021 - use these tips to maximize your effectiveness and start the new year right!